News From LBD
March 2010 Vol 2 Issue 3

Struggles - Give Opportunity a Chance

A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon. On that day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as the moth struggled to force the body through that tiny little hole.
   Then it seemed to stop making progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. It just seemed stuck. Then the man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
   What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening was the way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its tiny wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle. By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health.
   Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we go through life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as we could have been.  As a leader, are you giving every opportunity a chance? Leave no room for regrets.

What Leaders are Reading

Feel the Fear ... and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers - Jeffers discusses the crippling effects of fear in her personal life and explains how she formulated a course of action for conquering it. Her answers are simple; her course of action is difficult only because it requires courage. She explains how fear is based on the uncertainty of change and the lack of positive self image. She avoids psychological lingo, and includes many case studies about careers and changes in personal life, both of which are beginning to cause anxiety in many teens.

The Survivor's Club by Ben Sherwood - This book answers the questions: Why do some people bounce back and others give up? Who beats the odds and who surrenders?  Very engaging and relevant to how we can help others. Are survivors born or developed? ... find out.
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     "Just deal with it."

   This phrase has been bandied about for years.  When it comes to dealing with the struggles of life, or the challenges of leadership, sometimes it makes sense to "just deal with it."
   Change is inevitable. "Stuff" happens. Don't wait until everything is right. It will never be perfect. There will always be struggles, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what! Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger, you will change, you will become more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.
Effective leaders get it and "deal with it."

John Branstad
John Branstad


"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."

Maya Angelou

John Branstad